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15

Norilsk Nickel Profits Lowered

Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel reported a lower first-quarter net profit on Wednesday

Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel reported a lower first-quarter net profit on Wednesday due to a slump in metals sales.

Norilsk said that its first-quarter net profit fell to $446 million from $448 million in the same year-ago period, while sales rose to $1.630 billion from $1.583 billion.

According to Dmitry Usanov, head of Norilsk's investor relations department, metals sales in the first quarter were a bit lower, and that's why the profit number is a bit lower.

The company said nickel sales in the first quarter fell to 52,000 tonnes from 59,000 tonnes in the same year-ago period, while copper sales shrank to 88,000 tonnes from 99,000 tonnes.

Norilsk?s first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to $772 million from $701 million in the first quarter of 2004.

Norilsk also said first-quarter gold sales rose to 220,000 troy ounces, up form 158,000 troy ounces in first-quarter 2004.